Here's a parenting tip I recently learned. Lollipop, our nearly-two-year-old who lacks respect for personal safety, figured out how to dive bomb head first out of her crib. As a result, we were forced to convert her crib to a toddler bed way too early. She pretty much just gets up as soon as we leave the room, prompting us to put a baby gate up to prevent escape. Of course, it doesn't help that she shares a room with Daughter. Between Daughter's need to sing in bed and Lollipop's need to destroy everything in her path, bed time tends to involve several trips into their room, yelling, and tears.
In the last week, things have devolved into the female toddler version of Lord of the Flies. Saturday night, Jester went into their room to discover that they had found the baby powder -- and emptied an entire bottle in a surprisingly even manner across the whole floor. And then Monday night, Daughter came into our room around ten or eleven, holding a bottle of baby oil, which she had partially emptied on her head. Meanwhile, Lollipop had secured a bottle of infant saline nasal spray, which she had sprayed into her mouth before biting the cap off.
Tuesday night, we moved anything that could be poured, drunk, sprayed, or otherwise ejected from reaching distance. Then, as Jester was putting them to bed, she said, sternly, "Stay in bed, or else we'll call the police." They stayed in bed.
Last night, when going to bed, Lollipop laid down without resistance, looked up at Jester, shook her finger, and said something that sounded like "no playroom." Confused, we asked Daughter to interpret. She was saying "no policeman." They stayed in bed again last night. Now, anytime they give us any lip, we threaten arrest. When it seems like they're trying to test me, I pick up my phone and pretend to dial. Before I even hit the second fake number, the kids have shaped up.
You know who else were great parents? Sandy and Kirsten Cohen. God, I miss The OC.